Historian Martyn Taylor spoke to 1947-born Bury St Edmunds man David Hoggett about his early memories
Born in 1947, David Hoggett recounts some of his memories of his early life in Bury St Edmunds:
St Edmunds Place was a cul-de-sac with a small memorial at one end to men from there that died in World War One. Our house only had two bedrooms, my five sisters had one and I shared the other with my parents for the early part of my life.
The Place opened on to Cannon Square – Frewer’s bakery, Philips’ hairdressers, Smith’s grocery shop, Hibbets fish & chip shop and St Edmunds Head aka The Cannon Brewery were all here.
I was about 10 when I started earning pennies by running errands for Brayfields and Boughtons, both butchers.
However my biggest earner was collecting the Christmas club money from about seven houses on a Monday night. The Cannon ran it all year long and I got the interest from it. The money came in handy for the pictures, watching Bury Town and getting the Green 'Un’ for the football reports.
I also collected beer and Vimto bottles to get back the deposits when they were returned. With a couple of mates I would go carol singing sometimes outside the pubs but the landlord of The Red Lion made us sing inside, a hat passed round for our efforts. We thought we were millionaires!
In the summer I helped mum fruit picking but always ate more than I picked. I liked going with her to the railway station to see the animals come off the train and herded up St Andrew's Street to the market, also going down to the Abbey Gardens to see the brass band play there; that led me to play the bugle in the Boys' Brigade.
One thing you had to do in September was to start building your bonfire ready for Guy Fawkes Night, the bigger the better.
In those days nearly all the kids went to Sunday school, I went to the Lathbury Institute in Church Row. Who would ever have thought I would help convert it into a private house 50 years later when I was a bricklayer.
- David Hoggett
Martyn Taylor is a local historian, author and Bury Tour Guide. His latest book, Going Underground: Bury St Edmunds, is widely available